We’ve spoken before about how important fonts are in design.

Fonts convey a powerful message about your brand, so it’s crucial that this message is the right one.

For example, if you’re a corporate business, you want people to take you seriously, so a child-like, handwritten-style font wouldn’t work well. However, this font would be perfect for a kids clothing brand or nursery.

KG Miss KindergartenIt’s the same when it comes to font pairing. Some can look fussy when side-by-side. And, whatever your business or target audience, you want your fonts to go together harmoniously, not clash and cause distraction.

We’ve rounded up our top tips for font pairing below.

Establish a visual hierarchy.

Using different fonts is a great way to help the user or reader navigate their way through your design.

You can separate different elements of your page – headings, titles, body text and calls to action – by using different fonts, sizes, weights and spacing.

When pairing or combining several fonts, you need to make sure there is enough contrast between these two elements.

Stick to two or three fonts.

Unless absolutely necessary, a good rule of thumb when first pairing fonts is to limit the number.

Two or three different fonts should be enough to establish a clear visual hierarchy; any more and your design may look cluttered.

Each different font type should have a reason to be in your design. If you’re struggling to squeeze it in, it’s time to cut back.

Avoid fonts that are too similar.

When two similar fonts are used in one design, it can look messy.

You’d think that, because they are similar, they’d go well together. But, if they look too alike, the choice can seem like a mistake, rather than intentional.

Make sure they contrast enough so it’s clear they’ve been put there for a reason.

Mix serif and san-serif fonts.

Usually, a sure-fire way to pair quickly is to pick a san-serif and a serif font.

Serifs are the ones with decorative lines or tapers (commonly known as tails or feet), whereas sans-serifs don’t have these features.

Picking one from each group is a fast way to ensure your fonts work well together.

Interestingly, there’s a debate about whether sans-serif of serifs are more legible.

Traditionally, serifs have been used to make sure text is readable in print – their tails and feet lend themselves to speedy reading.

However, sans-serifs are now considered to look more clean and modern, often used for designs viewed on a screen, such as web and app design.

Sans and San Serif Fonts

Or, choose from the same family.

Another way to ensure your design looks cohesive is to use fonts from the same family, establishing a hierarchy with different weights and type cases.

An example of this would be Avenir Light for the body with Avenir Black in capitals for headings.

Font Pairing

Of course, rules are usually there to be broken. So, once you get a bit of practice in, you can be more adventurous with your pairings. There aren’t really any hard and fast rules in design, but these tips should help you if you’re completely new to combining fonts.


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